ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Threat to groundwater

There is sufficient groundwater in almost the entire Rhine catchment. Lowered groundwater tables only pose a problem in areas of Moselle/Saar and the Lower Rhine, in particular in mining areas (see map 22, management plan 2021).

The chemical groundwater state is more critical (see maps 24 and 25, management plan 2021). Parts of the groundwater are at risk in almost the entire Rhine watershed. Locally, groundwater may be polluted by historic pollutions or accidents with substances hazardous to water. Exhaustive pollution, particularly with nitrate and plant protection agents from agricultural surfaces is considerably more problematic. Agricultural applications must be further optimised with a view to avoiding or at least reducing nitrate leaching. This also applies to the use of plant protection agents.